LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.3 released

Collabora Office

Today we release LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.3, featuring a plethora of new features from Collabora and the community. Together with all features from LibreOffice 4.3 tested and hardened, we’ve also included important back-ported improvements from the latest LibreOffice 4.4 Fresh.

Packed with features

Huge improvements over LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.2

With more than 40 new improvements tested and included from The Document Foundation’s LibreOffice 4.3, LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.3 offers benefits across the board, including performance, user interface, and interoperability features. For the full list included from LibreOffice 4.3, see The Document Foundation’s 4.3 release notes.

DrawingML import/export

Greatly improved OOXML shapes in LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.3
Greatly improved OOXML shapes in LibreOffice-from-Collabora 4.3
  • Brand new support for import / export of DrawingML shapes and TextFrames to DOCX files comes from Collabora Productivity Engineer Miklos Vajna. The result is drastically improved rendering of shapes and TextFrames contained within DOCX documents.

Improvements to document comments

  • Import and export of nested comments is now supported in ODF, DOC, DOCX and RTF documents.
  • Comments can now be printed next to the text in the right margin as they appear on screen.
  • All comments in a document can adopt the same style in a single click via the “format all comments” feature.

The freshest features back-ported

As well as all the features from LibreOffice 4.3, LibreOffice-from-Collabora also include five back-ported features from the latest LibreOffice 4.4 Fresh. These include:

Improvements to Track Changes

New changeset toolbar with fresh icons
New changeset toolbar with fresh icons
  • A new “track changes” toolbar, complete with new icons, provides easy access to ten different functions, including “show / hide changes”, “record changes”, and “compare document”.
  • The “Accept Change” and “Reject Change” commands now automatically jump to the next change.

New style menu options

Style menu dropdown with new options
Style menu dropdown with new options
  • The style drop-down menu now offers an additional sub-menu for each style offering to edit or update the style that is selected.

Digital signatures

PDF documents can now be digitally signed
PDF documents can now be digitally signed
  • PDF documents can now be digitally signed with a certificate, proving the identity of the document author.

Read only mode

A new warning message on a 'read only' document
A new warning message on a ‘read only’ document
  • Documents opened in read only with show a highlighted warning message during viewing, informing the user that the file cannot be edited, with the option to switch to edit mode.X

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LibreOffice 4.5 to provide PDF signing and timestamping

Collabora Productivity has completed integration of trusted timestamping and digital signing into LibreOffice. Used extensively by governments and information security companies, these features make LibreOffice the first comprehensive Open Source PDF signing solution. The work was commissioned by Swiss non-profit Wilhelm Tux after a successful crowdfunding campaign in October.

Trusted timestamping will be released in upcoming LibreOffice 4.5. It securely tracks the creation and modification of documents — once a document has been timestamped, it is impossible to compromise or dispute its integrity. Certificate signing of PDFs, which Collabora recently published in LibreOffice 4.4, guarantees a document’s origin and authenticity. Combined, these new features enable LibreOffice to generate documents suitable for a wide variety of secure and legal settings.

“The addition of signatures and timestamps to LibreOffice makes LibreOffice the obvious for a range of buyers” says Michael Meeks, Vice President at Collabora Productivity. “These enterprise features are the latest to cater to professional users, and reflect the demanding environments to which LibreOffice is being deployed”.

The signatures that are produced are interoperable with all PDF readers supporting the PDF/A standard, including products from Adobe. The signing process makes use of certificates and cryptography native to the operating system used, with Windows versions of LibreOffice using Microsoft’s included certificate manager. Mac and Linux versions include the NSS cryptographic library shared by Mozilla Firefox. Industry standard x.509 certificates are used for signing documents, and can be obtained from a wide range of certificate authorities.

Trusted timestamping implements IETF standard RFC 3161, and requires validation from a Time Stamping Authority (TSA). Several TSA’s provide the service free of charge, while Open Source TSA server applications may be deployed and operated independently.

“The use of PDF signatures and timestamps is required by Swiss law in many regulations concerning the exchange of documents with Government bodies, including the EÖBV for notary documents, and ElDI-V for tax receipts” said Markus Wernig, Chairman of Wilhelm Tux. “I’m pleased and amazed that Collabora have achieved the features in such a short time”.

About Collabora Productivity:
Collabora Productivity delivers LibreOffice products and consulting. With the largest team of certified LibreOffice engineers, it is a leading contributor to the LibreOffice code base and community. LibreOffice-from-Collabora provides a business-hardened office suite with long term multi-platform support. Collabora Productivity is a division of Collabora Ltd., the global software consultancy specializing in providing the benefits of Open Source to the commercial world, specialising in automotive, semiconductors, digital TV and consumer electronics industries.
About Wilhelm Tux:
Wilhelm Tux is a Swiss non-profit, non-government organisation founded in 2002. It’s focus is advocating Free and Open Source Software, the use of Open Standards in the public sector, and on protection of digital civil liberties. The group and it’s partners work to establish a favourable environment for the adoption of Free Software in Switzerland. In the past Wilhelm Tux served as a member of the constituting committee of the Swiss standardization body eCH, and has since taken an active role in public debate on digital issues within the public sector.

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